Tricolored Heron (Or Not)

I’ve been stalking these birds for over a month; trying to photograph and to identify them. I recognize their voice and I, often, get to the pond just to see them fly into the willow beyond my camera’s range. We were thinking that they were Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor). It is smaller than the great blue heron. It has yellow feet and legs, dark body with white on its belly. After today’s sightings, I was quite sure; though, our location seems to be just a bit beyond their range. In researching this bird, I discovered Ebird.org. The site describes itself as a global tool for birders. I wouldn’t call myself a birder but the website is so amazing and useful that I had to sign up and report my sighting.

RECENT (July 2, 9:30 pm) UPDATE: Please, note a comment from an ebird.org member, Nick, who helps me to identify this bird more accurately. I am, so, impressed that I’ve, already, received feedback from Ebird and with Nick’s responsiveness. He recognizes this bird as a Green Heron. That is very possible. When I look at the ebird range map, it seems much more likely in fact. It is time to start remembering to bring my binoculars with me so that I can attempt to verify the coloring and markings. My distant vision is not so wonderful nor is the range of my camera. I need bigger pockets!

Early this morning, I saw one of the birds fly into the top of the white oak in front of the greenhouse.

heron2

heron1

Quite a tease, huh?

Then, early this afternoon, I thought I would let Indie go down for a swim in the pond. I brought my sickle to cut down some of the vegetation around the firepit and I brought my camera, just in case. Sure enough, I heard that familiar bird call. I couldn’t resist and had to go down to the pond to try again. I’m so glad I did. I squatted at the pond’s widening edge (lots of rain these days!) looking across the pond to where they usually show themselves. I squatted long enough for my feet to fall asleep and my socks to get wet and for for the birds to show themselves. After some time passed, they seemed to become quite comfortable to go about their business.

I was surprised to see three!

Here’s one getting beautiful while the other stands backstage:

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Categories: Birds, Fauna | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Tricolored Heron (Or Not)

  1. Nick Pulcinella

    Michaelann

    I saw your report on eBird and checked out the videos. Tricolored Heron is extremely rare in Chester Co. and the fact that you had three perked my interest. Unfortunately, the herons appear to be Green Herons a common summer resident in these parts. I enjoyed the videos.

    Nick Pulcinella
    West Chester

    • micvel

      Thank you, Nick! and Wow! Ebird has already proven to be very useful for me. You may be absolutely correct about these herons and I don’t find that unfortunate at all. They are wonderful! I will update this post and edit the ebird sighting. I wish I could have gotten clearer video clips…my camera has to go into digital zoom to get anything at that distance…quite limited. I’m very grateful that you took your time to look and respond! Michaelann

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